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10 Questions to Create a Sense of Belonging with New Team Members

4 minute read

By Lucy Rowell, Coach, Podcast Host and Founder of Impactful Authenticity

We’ve all had that mix of emotions that come with joining a new team or company. We’re excited and full of energy to get started while at the same time nervous and unsure about what exactly we’ve signed up for.

As leaders, that first interaction is critical to being able to predict how someone is going to thrive in the team, both as an individual and as a team member. It also predicts how long they’ll want to stay. When people feel safe, supported, and challenged to be their best, their engagement and performance blossom.

Here are ten questions that will help you build the solid foundations of trust, vulnerability, psychological safety and belonging. That will set the team, the new joiner and yourself as the leader up for success.


The most successful relationships are built when you also open up. The idea is these are a guide to opening up a conversation and not just a quick tick-box exercise to run through in 10 minutes and move on. The more you both engage together to build up trust and expectations, the higher the feeling of belonging you’ll both have as you step out of the conversation.

It’s about finding different ways to make the conversation feel comfortable and engaging so people share what they’re really thinking. Making impactful and authentic connections that will last.  


Understand working preferences.

  1. What types of work fill you with energy?
  2. What situations drain your energy?
  3. What is your preferred communication style & format?
  4. How do you like to receive praise and recognition?
  5. How do you like to give and receive feedback?

Understand what drives them and creates inspiration.

  1. What has been your most proud achievement in your life & career so far? (Aim to get one in each area.)
  2. What is one of your ambitions for the future? (This does not need to be work-related.

Catalyse them to success.

  1. Do you have any boundaries you’ve set up for your work time so I can support you in honouring them?
  2. What superpower do you bring?
  3. What can I do to make you be your best?


The learnings I’ve gained myself from using and evolving these questions overtime in my own teams and with my coaching clients are:

  • Put yourself in their shoes. Appreciate this might feel overwhelming for them.
  • Setting the scene on why you’re asking the questions and making the person feel as comfortable as possible is critical.
  • Understanding that for them to be vulnerable and open, they need to see you do it first!
  • You need to listen intently and probe to deeply understand.
  • You have to take action based on what you’ve learnt.
  • Keep revisiting (every 6-12 months)

Good luck!


About the Author

Lucy Rowell is a coach, consultant and podcast host catalysing the impact of individuals, teams and organisations. Lucy has over 20 years in senior leadership roles within the area of Data Science in global corporate organisations, as well as being a previous chairwoman for a large non-profit company. She has designed and implemented a number of innovative large team/organisational transformations.  

She is the founder of a boutique agency Impactful Authenticity (with a podcast under the same name), where she works with leaders and teams to unlock and harness the power of authenticity to create high functioning, tightly connected, impactful teams everyone wants to be a part of.

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